Synopsis: After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…
Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.
Review: 5/5 stars
Ho-ly shit. You guys!
I just managed to get through a book – a whole freaking book – with no blatant sexism, racism, homophobia, girl-on-girl hate, instances of the beloved not like other girls trope, love triangles, flat characters, overused archetypes, that plotline where you discover your power and it’s consuming you, gag-worthy romance, weird writing quirks, overwrought emotion, social issues used to make it seem ~profound~, apocalyptically bad characters, or plot slowness. In the year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen.
I’m in shock. I have gotten so freaking used to hating books – and it’s not even that I choose to! It’s just…what are the chances of a book not containing one of those things? If you take my 2017 reading challenge so far as your not-so-random sample (I’m in a stat class, can you tell?), the chance is 2/36. Because out of the 36 books I’ve read this year, this is only the second I’ve given five stars. (And, as I’m reading over this review to post it here, the numbers are now 3/40.) So I guess I’m really covering my bases on the negatives. No one can call me problematic, baby!
But anyway, there’s good news in that paragraph of sad – besides just how woke I am. The good news is that this book is essentially perfect.According to my tried-and-true method – the one that skyrocketed me to fame, you guys – The Graveyard Book just full on rocks in every category. So let’s go through those categories!
First, the setting. (If you somehow have managed to see this review without seeing my Caraval review, 1) congrats and 2) I’ve declared settings to be my favorite thing.) This book takes places in a motherf*cking graveyard, baby. (Let me know when I’ve said baby too many times. Oh, it already happened? Yeah, fair.) Anyway, graveyards are cool as hell. Setting a book there? Specifically in one with thousands of years of history and a historic monument on the grounds? Even cooler.
And you know what graveyards mean, guys. Ghosts. YES, I AM INTERESTED IN A BOOK THAT CENTERS ON GHOSTS. ANY BOOK. GIVE ME ANY GHOST BOOK. But especially one that starts off with a ghastly death. (That’s not a spoiler. It’s literally the beginning of the book.) Anyway, this is everything I love combined.
So, as I mentioned with an excess of enthusiasm a second ago, almost every character in this book is a ghost. Or at the very least, the type of creepy little thing that spends most of its time in a graveyard. (A handful of human characters who are probably Tim Burton fans included. It seems like Tim Burton fans would force themselves to hang out in graveyards just for the aesthetic. You feel me?) Anyway, it should go without saying that the characters are great. They’re graveyard inhabitants.
This book also has a little bit of magic in it. MAGIC, I SAY! A very cool kind of magic. It gives you a hint of the creeps when it happens. I’m not going to say any more than that! Read to find out, as my elementary school librarian would say.
Other than that…this book is bananas well written. An absolute pleasure to pick up. The title is great. (More books should just be named The Subject Thing. Like The LEGO Movie. That was a successful film. Take a hint.) Also fast-paced. Made me feel emotions. (A truly rare occurrence.) Cute ending. What more can I say?
Bottom line: READ THIS BOOK. READ IT READ IT READ IT. I never like anything and I loved this.